by Jeff Milo
Has it settled in, truly, that we're in the middle of an election year? Four years is a long time - we've had three different iPhones and a new super-smart-pad and various updates to electronic-automobile technology and lots of drones darkening the skies of foreign lands and four new Idols text-selected by the TV-devotees and scads of public parks occupied and free speech being applied to millionaires privately donating to "independent" "social-welfare-groups" and a new-yet-old-again-Russian President and three new Super Bowl Champions and ...and yeah.
A lot happens, it seems, so swiftly so- in just four years. We were so much younger then, we wanted to "Believe." We actually got excited about a Presidential election.
We're tweeting the steady updates of our doom. The Affordable Care Act has its head upon the Supreme Court's guillotine, waiting patiently for pardoning approval or a big decisive chop. There's the Euro debt crisis that could send us back into another recession while the Federal Reserve considers more stimulus to our dog-paddling economy.
Who can write about music at such a time? Such hysteria.
just want to be
I don't wanna talk about
I don't wanna talk about
Man, woman, stranger, whoever reads this... I am just listening to Fiona Apple's new album:
The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do
Maybe because it sounds upset without sounding melodramatic; the pianos grimace and the drums vary from caffeinated and caustic to crashed-out and drooping; her voice, per usual, quirky and crinkled and whipped all 'round the room with a throaty quaver, leaps from the low croons to the trilling falsettos:
"my ills are articulate my woes are granular..."
"...I don't cry when I'm sad anymore..."
And that last line really hits me. It's refreshing to sit down and watch this stark ballet, a simple duet between piano-and-voice, a meager backdrop of a night scene showing a glowing azure pool dotted with sad stars and an aloof crescent moon, the musical dancers spinning and kicking their improvisational dance of contemplative catharsis, like no one's watching.
I don't cry when I'm sad anymore. I don't listen when the news is on. I don't retain when headlines blur by. I don't react when violence is described. I don't -feel-this-- this year-- when -this thing happens.
That's why it feels good to just listen to music, today. Even if I did still kinda write-about it... However discouraging I find the world, however loudly my Luddite-side laments at the tilt-o-whirl of technological toys of mass distraction, however doom doom doom DOOM, stranger, doom, louder yet still, peals in my ears... There is still the re-fresh-ment of music.
To get lost in the chant, the spell, of a song about a "Hot Knife."
Or another song about Knives. Like Flaming Lips' covering a Radiohead song
Speaking with a friend who was there^ to see it, as the OK-City acid-pop-punks performed in the wake of the tragic stage-collapsing before Radioheads' scheduled gig, to just read it in the eyes of my friend as he recalls the collective choked-up-ness of the whole room when Coyne made eloquent statements of condolence and solidarity and cosmic dedications of karma as they went into a particularly poignant rendition of "Waiting For Superman." That it came from music, from sound, from sharing a listening experience. Just listening.
"...is it getting heavy?"